The concept of neoliberalism is a theory of choices. This concept states that the pathway to a better and quality life can be by choosing the right path and ensuring that one lives according to the accepted norms and values of society (Dees & Anderson, 2006). Adherents of this type of social concept believe that good choices include doing well in school, avoiding teen pregnancy, saying no to drugs, never committing any kind of crime, and staying out of debt. Breaking one of these rules can lead to terrible consequences. This theory goes on to show that people should know that they make their own future and determine the quality of life they will have later in their years by the choices they make today (Ridley-Duff & Bull, 2015). However, this theory is wrong, as it does not apply to minority groups like the black community in American society. The Blacks and more so the black women in the United States have been marginalized for hundreds of years.
This marginalization and inequity have made it very hard for these people to have equal opportunities in life. For a black woman coming from the lower middle class to succeed in life, they have to work extra hard than people from other economic classes and races. As a young black woman from a lower middle class, I think about my personal experience as I grew up and I came to the realization that I was at a disadvantage compared to some of my age mates in school. I always found life hard. Going to school was sometimes a problem as my family could not afford school fees and getting a decent meal sometimes was a problem. In my family, gender played a major role, and boys and girls were raised with different expectations. Going to college was a preserve for boys and we girls were not considered bright enough to go to college and further our studies (Ridley-Duff & Bull, 2015). Actually, completing high school for many of us was considered a very big achievement for girls. This kind of discrimination and gender inequality that leads to a lack of equal opportunities is what Martin Luther King Jr. was fighting against in his life. In spite of the fact that slavery and servitude in America ended in the late nineteenth century, organized and institutionalized racism bigotry kept on persecuting African Americans for many years (Dees & Anderson, 2006). After slavery was abolished, many blacks thought that having freedom, equality, and justice implied having a bright future filled with hope, not living in dread, and pursuing their hopes just as any other American. Numerous blacks believed that after the Civil War they would be treated as equals and the same way other Americans were treated. The outcomes were different with many whites using prejudice and their power to spread racial division (Ridley-Duff & Bull, 2015). By the mid-twentieth century, blacks were compelled to utilize separate open utilities and schools from the ones used by whites. They endured routine segregation at work and they were at sometimes lynched and treated badly. For quite a long time, social liberties activists had been battling these laws and social traditions to ensure equity for all Americans irrespective of one’s race (Pomerantz, 2015).
These activists had won some huge triumphs; among the most eminent was the 1954 Supreme Court choice Brown v. leading group of Education, which upheld that state laws requiring black and white students to go to different schools was unconstitutional. However, these wins were not enough to demolish systematic racism that had been entrenched in the country for centuries. It was on this basis that Martin Luther King, Jr. sought to fight for the liberties of the black people in the United States. Unfortunately, despite Dr. King’s fight, many black women are still struggling with social prejudice (Pomerantz, 2015). Many black women in the United States are confronted with many socio-economic that make their lives harder than other segments of the American people. Racial disparities in maternal health have been one major issue facing the black woman. Research demonstrates that for a black American woman from a poor background the choice to give birth can be the choice that can make them pay the ultimate price. Maternal mortality is currently at the highest level than it has ever been in the last 25 years. Black women in America are 300% more likely than white women to die during the childbearing process or any other cause related to pregnancy and giving birth.
Another issue that I have seen happen in my neighborhood is the issue of early or teenage pregnancies. Even though I have not been a victim of this issue, I have seen friends and relatives get pregnant early in their lives and this has affected their lives in a negative way. Research shows that black women from poor backgrounds are three times more likely to engage in teenage sexual activities that lead to teenage pregnancies. Teenage pregnancy curtails the advancement of these women’s lives because many of them drop from school, start engaging in drugs and even criminal activities, so as to be able to raise their children.
It is important for society to consider the black women plight and come up with measures that if implemented can help alleviate this issue. One way the community can do this is by increasing community awareness of the issue of black teen pregnancy disparities and the negative impact it has on the lives of the black girl in the United States. I also plan to take personal initiative to help solve this societal issue (Peterson, 2015). For example, I would talk to the community, state, local, and federal leaders about the issue of black teenage pregnancies in the society and urge them to make this discussion a priority in various platforms, so that policies and programs that seek to reverse this issue are developed and implemented. I am also planning to identify constructive and healthy activities for teenagers to be involved in after they come home from school. This is important as it will take most of their times hence they will not have time to engage in teenage sexual activities.
From the above discussion, it is clear that black women in the United States and other countries across the world are faced with extra difficulties that make it hard for them to prosper in life (Peterson, 2015). For this reason, it is vital for society to come up with measures that are aimed at giving these girls some affirmative actions that can help them gain some advantages in various aspects in life such as college/ school, leadership roles, and at the workplace. This can play a major role in improving the lives of the black woman in American society and improve their chances of success in life.
Dees, J. G., & Anderson, B. B. (2006). Framing a theory of sociological concepts: Building on two schools of practice and thought. Research on social entrepreneurship: Understanding and contributing to an emerging field, 1(3), 39-66.
Ridley-Duff, R., & Bull, M. (2015). Understanding social nature of the blacks and black women: Theory and practice. Sage.
Doeringer, M. F. (2009). Fostering social equality: A historical and international analysis. Duke J. Comp. & Int’l L., 20, 291.
Pomerantz, M. (2015). Connected models for social-economic-sustainability studies. Seattle University.
Peterson, M. (2015). Social economic plight of the black American woman. Journal of Ethics & Entrepreneurship, 5(1), 5.
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